In a gratitude-themed service held at the ASK Showground in Eldoret, the ACK Diocese of Eldoret celebrated its 40th Anniversary on October 29, 2023.
The event was presided over by the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya, Dr. Jackson Ole Sapit, with His Excellency the President of Kenya, Dr. William Ruto, in attendance as the chief guest. The event also saw over a thousand Christians drawn from across the Diocese, which covers the administrative counties of Uasin Gishu and Elgeyo Marakwet, in attendance. The Diocesan Bishop, Dr. Christopher Ruto, and former Diocesan Bishops were also present. A host of elected leaders from the region also graced the event.
The Archbishop delivered the sermon titled “Forty Years in God’s Hands.” The sermon drew from instances in the Bible where the 40-year period was used to demonstrate God’s intentions to His people.
In Deuteronomy Chapters 6 and 8, the Archbishop explained how God had gathered the Israelites at the end of their 40-year journey in the wilderness to prepare them for the land they were about to enter. He reminded them that as they entered the land, they were to remember God’s laws and what He had done for them. (Deuteronomy 4:9).
In summarizing these laws, Jesus then commanded that the greatest command was to love God and your neighbor (Mathew 22:34-40).
Referring to these biblical texts, the Archbishop commended the Diocese for demonstrating God’s by attending to the spiritual and physical needs of the communities.
The Archbishop added:
“We are celebrating a Diocese that has been keen on developing its people.
We must cultivate our faith with love, and the seeds we plant today will determine what we will become tomorrow.
When we invest in our people, we are opening the doors to their prosperity.”
In his speech, the President commended the Diocese for the work it had done in the area, complementing government efforts in transforming communities.
“From the First Bishop (Muge), we have witnessed progress and growth in this Diocese.
We have also seen how you have helped mobilize communities and drive the delivery of services such as healthcare, affordable housing, and other food security projects.
A former member of parliament in the region, the president said:
The President pledged to open up more partnership opportunities between the Government and the church in promoting the well-being of communities and invited the Church to offer its valuable input in transforming the nation.”
The Anglican Diocese of Eldoret was created in 1983 after it was curved out of the Anglican Diocese of Nakuru. Before then, the Diocese of Nakuru covered the entire Rift Valley region, posing logistical and administrative challenges in its ministry. After its (Eldoret) creation, the Rt. Rev. Alexander Muge was elected to serve as its first Bishop. Bishop Muge’s leadership period coincided with the period when the country faced numerous challenges related to governance in the clamor for a multi-party democracy. He is credited for driving the Diocese’s advocacy and development agenda.
Sadly, his leadership was cut short in 1990 through a controversial road accident.
The Rt. Rev. Stephen Kewasis was elected to take over from him. He served for 6 years before moving to the Anglican Diocese of Kitale when it was carved out from the Diocese of Eldoret in 1997. The Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas Kogo took over as the Bishop of the residual Diocese of Eldoret, serving until 2010, before retiring and being succeeded by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Christopher Ruto, who is the current Bishop.
The Diocese has also seen the creation of other Dioceses, namely Kapsabet (2016), Kitale (1997), and Kapenguria (2022). It now comprises 56 parishes served by 122 clergy and 22 staff, including those working in the Diocesan Offices and institutions.